- a case or bag to carry clothing in while traveling, especially a leather trunk or suitcase that opens into two halves.
- Also called portmanteau word. Linguistics. blend(def 10).
Origin of portmanteau
- another name for blend (def. 7)
- (formerly) a large travelling case made of stiff leather, esp one hinged at the back so as to open out into two compartments
- (modifier) embodying several uses or qualitiesthe heroine is a portmanteau figure of all the virtues
Word Origin and History for portmanteau word
1580s, "traveling case or bag for clothes and other necessaries," from Middle French portemanteau "traveling bag," originally "court official who carried a prince's mantle" (1540s), from porte, imperative of porter "to carry" (see porter (n.1)) + manteau "cloak" (see mantle (n.)).
Portmanteau word "word blending the sound of two different words" (1882), coined by "Lewis Carroll" (Charles L. Dodgson, 1832-1898) for the sort of words he invented for "Jabberwocky," on notion of "two meanings packed up into one word." As a noun in this sense from 1872.